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Extractive industries and the challenges of implementing Voluntary Principles in Weak Governance Zones

In South Africa during August 2012, Lonmin...experienced violent clashes between security forces and employees resulting in an estimated 44 deaths (mostly employees) and over a month of disruption to operations…[I]n May 2013, citing the company’s poor Human Rights record in Papua New Guinea and Tanzania as a factor, New Zealand’s Superannuation Fund removed USD 1.8m in investments from Barrick Gold (Mining NAM). Given the human cost and the publicity gained by these events, Vigeo has produced this Sustainability Focus to draw attention to the specific challenges, risks and opportunities that extractive companies face when seeking to secure their operations and the Human Rights of stakeholders in Weak Governance Zones (WGZ’s). This Sustainability Focus will draw attention specifically to challenges of implementing the Voluntary Principles on Security Forces and Human Rights (the VPs). [Also refers to AngloGold Ashanti, BHP Billiton, BP, Eni, Freeport-McMoRan, Norsk Hydro (part of Statoil), Shell, Statoil, Total, Tullow Oil]